APL scientists have produced this video clip of the TIMED spacecraft's observations of the March 29, 2006, total solar eclipse. The data was acquired by TIMED's Global Ultraviolet Imager (GUVI) instrument as the eclipse progresses.
The first orbit swath shown in the clip does not occur in the region of the eclipse. The position of the center of the moon's shadow, or umbra, is shown as it moves from Brazil across Africa.
In the second and third swaths, GUVI images the region of the moon's shadow on Earth. During that time the TIMED spacecraft flies past the shadow region and sees the dramatic decrease in the temperature and brightness of the upper atmosphere where the moon's shadow falls. This is indicated by the dashed line in the second swath where GUVI looked toward the east to see the affected region.
In the third swath GUVI again sees the eclipse region, but is now looking back towards the west. Once again the dashed line indicates where the solar eclipse has led to a cooling of the atmosphere. The last swath shows the atmosphere where the eclipse track has already passed and recovered. Each of the swaths is separated by about 100 minutes — the time it takes TIMED to orbit the Earth.
Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory